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George HW Bush held true to ‘Country First'

In the last several weeks, our nation has recognized the Americans who fought and sacrificed in World War I on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the armistice, which ended the 20th century’s first all-encompassing conflict.

We’ve also celebrated Veterans Day to honor those who have served our great nation.

Since then, America has lost a veteran devoted to service to his country in any regard, former President George H.W. Bush. He was a man who enlisted in the Navy and served as one of its youngest aviators during World War II, and then led our nation through the long, dark Cold War in a number of capacities, culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union while he occupied the Oval Office.

We owe so much to these American heroes, and it’s why I have made it a central focus of my time in office to honor and provide for those who have served their country.

A legacy of service to one another and our country is a theme which binds America together and Texas as well. Many Texans played an important role in World War I as part of the American Expeditionary Force. These brave Americans helped turn the tide against the German Army, and swiftly brought the war to a close.

This victory was not without sacrifice, as 116,516 Americans perished as a result of the Great War. But this tradition of service is rooted in American’s very nature. It’s a part of our DNA.

George H.W. Bush’s first opportunity for service came 25 years after the World War I Armistice, when he enlisted at age 17 for the Navy, eventually becoming a pilot and flying in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Throughout the years, President Bush represented America and Texas with his brand of strong, responsible and steady leadership. When it came time to confront our enemies, George Bush always rose to the challenge; service ran in his blood.

As we go into a new U.S. Congress — with important challenges our country needs to overcome — it is helpful to refocus on the themes that have always brought our country together: recognizing, thanking and helping those who have served their country.

Our servicemembers, veterans, law enforcement officers, intelligence agents and all others who serve can be the focus and beneficiaries of bipartisan, bicameral legislative action this coming year. I intend to focus on them, keeping in mind the strong legacy of service to country that Texans and Americans have shown for the last century, and will continue to show in the future.

I see the commitment to service every time I go to Fort Hood to visit our soldiers, every time I go to a VFW or Legion post to visit with our veterans, or a National Guard armory or a police station, or a school to meet the educators there.

I see it in Democrats and Republicans alike, young and old, all throughout my district. As another brave, recently departed American who served once said, “Country First.”

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